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Thursday, 24 October 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Freedom Song: The Fisk Jubilee Singers' Story

Harvey Brough, Emily Dankworth, Christina Gill, Wills Morgan, Michael Henry

A choir of ex-slaves, raising funds to build their University, toured America from 1871, suffering discrimination and hardship. They came to England, were treated with respect and sang to Queen Victoria and Gladstone. Spiritual songs are folk music and belong to us all, but because they came out of such horrific suffering it’s hard to know how to sing them. 

This lecture tells the tale of the singers whose courage and enterprise brought them to the world. The songs they sang include Steal Away to Jesus, Go Down, Moses and Deep River.

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Harvey is a Turner Sims Professor of Music at the University of Southampton. He is the founder of the group Harvey and the Wallbangers. 

Photograph credited to Hannah Barton.

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Having graduated with a MMus in Jazz Performance from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2013, Emily is amongst the UK's distinct musical talents. The diversity of her musical upbringing has led her to travel between Europe, USA and Asia during her career.

In 2018, Emily lead a Vocal Workshop as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival at Kings Place London.  Emily currently performs in Alec Dankworth’s World Spirit and Spanish Accents, collaborating with other artists and is now working on her own music for her upcoming Album inspired by her recent travels around the Mediterranean on a 40m Sail Yacht where she spent many months at sea during the summer.

Emily has performed live at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club, the Barbican Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Centre (NYC), Boston Symphony Hall, the National Center for Performing Arts (Beijing), the Elgar Room and King’s Place, and has been featured on BBC Radio and BBC TV, including the Paul O’Grady Show, BBC Radio 2, The One Show, The Choir, BBC Radio 3, and Ronnie Scotts’ and Jamie Cullum’s radio shows.

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Christina is a Mezzo soprano.

Since living in the UK, she has performed the role of Carmen numerous times and was described by Rupert Christiansen in The Telegraph as singing "forcefully as a sassy and ruthless Carmen." She has also been praised for her portrayals of Donna Elvira, Suzuki, Charlotte, and Maddalena.

Most recently, Christina has sung the role of Maddalena in the Opera Brava touring production of Rigoletto and made her Irish debut as Donna Agnes in The Sleeping Queen and Une Voix de Femme in Thérèse at the Wexford Festival Opera.

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Wills is a classically trained opera singer who performs with Harvey Brough's community choir Vox Holloway at St Luke’s Church, West Holloway, London.

Photograph by Nick Rutter

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Michael has sung Freedom Song with the community choir Vox Holloway based at St Luke's Church, West Holloway in London.

Photograph taken by Nick Rutter

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